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South Florida State College was established in 1965 by the Florida Legislature to serve the educational needs of Highlands and Hardee counties. The permanent site planned for the college was 1.5 miles south of Avon Park, and the college officially moved onto this site in 1969. In 1984, South Florida Junior College became known as South Florida Community College. Today, SFSC has three campuses and several off-site centers, including the Highlands, Hardee, and DeSoto campuses, and Lake Placid Center.
Students can earn associate's degrees or occupational certificates at South Florida State College. In 1992, SFSC became one of the first community colleges in Florida to offer bachelor’s degree programs through partnerships with public and private universities. It now offers 13 bachelor’s degree programs and three master’s degree programs through eight colleges and universities. Through the Florida Virtual Campus, students at South Florida State College can earn degreees and certificates completely online.
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